Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Books about Books

I was moved to comment on this NY Observer story. It's true that no one wants to read about who had lunch with Sonny Mehta at which Bobby Flay restaurant, and which foreign rights were vaguely danced about as espressos were ordered. But here's what people do want to read about: heroes. Quiet heroes facing long odds in the desperate, perhaps insane hope of achieving greatness. Human beings who inject their whole blood, their every breath, into scratching some mark on some cave-wall that says "I was here. I lived. I loved. I died." before the earth dries out and shrivels away to ash.

That's what editors do. Good ones, anyway. And there are a few. For now. You don't hear much about them, they don't get a damn parade, but they're out there and thank God for that. They're like a Delta Force of the human spirit - secret, treated as expendable, easily forgotten, furiously necessary.

It's not an easy story to tell - there are no gunfights, no figures from the supernatural, and very few sex scenes. But tell that story well and you've told the only story we'll ever need.

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